Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dell Vostro 3450

Dell introduces a whole range of new laptops with the new Vostro 3000 series. The assortment ranges from a 13.3 inch model over a 14 inch and a 15.6 inch model up to a big 17 inch model. We will take a closer look at the 14 inch model, the Dell Vostro 3450, in this review. We have recently examined the 14 incher's relatives: the 13.3 inch Vostro 3350, the 15.6 inch Vostro 3550 and the 17 inch Vostro 3750 and now complete the series with the Vostro 3450.

The notebook is available in Dell's online configurator or can be ordered at one of the known, large online retailers as a pre-configured unit. Our test model comes from and currently costs 794.90 euros.

An Intel Core i5-2410M processor with Sandy Bridge architecture is used for the CPU. This dual core processor is a midrange model from Intel's second generation of Core processors. The processor already has a good amount of power with a standard clock rate of 2.3 GHz. However it can be increased even more via Turbo Boost 2.0 and sufficient cooling. Thus, the clock rate can be boosted to 2.6 GHz (2 cores under load) or 2.9 GHz (1 core). This happens absolutely automatically without the user's intervention. The new Core i5-2410M's performance is more or less comparable with the "old" Core i5-560M with 2.7-3.2 GHz. The 2410M even surpasses the 560M in a few benchmarks. In addition to the memory controller, the i5-2410M also has an incorporated graphics card at a TDP (thermal design power) of 35 watts. The HD Graphics 3000 graphics card might not be impressive with its pure performance, but it convinces in basic tasks with its low consumption.

Besides the processor's incorporated Intel HD Graphics 3000 graphics card, the Dell Vostro 3450 also has an additional graphics card, the AMD Radeon HD 6630M graphics card. It is a DirectX 11 capable midrange graphics card for notebooks and the successor of the slower clocked HD 5650. The HD 6630M should be slightly better than the "old" HD 5650 in 3D performance due to a higher shader count. The graphics card can automatically be switched so that the energy saving Intel graphics is used in idle and the stronger AMD graphics is used during load (AMD calls this technology PowerXPress 4.0 or BACON). However, it doesn't seem to work quite as well as the competitor's, Nvidia, in practical use. When an application – still unknown to the Catalyst Control Center – a window is opened and the user is asked if the according application requires high performance or if it should be run on energy saving. This is particularly annoying on a freshly installed system because you have to assign a new program to a profile every few minutes. Nvidia's solution, called Optimus, makes a considerably more developed impression. You can read a detailed first impression in our article: AMD 4.0 aka BACON – The Optimus competition in a practical test.

specifications :
  • Processor : Intel Core i5 2410M 2.3 GHz
  • Mainboard : Intel HM67
  • Memory : 4096 MB, Samsung, DDR3-10600, 1333 MHz, max. 8 GB, 2 slots
  • Graphics adapter : AMD Radeon HD 6630M, 8.802.1.2000
  • Display : 14 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, Chi Mei N140BGE, LED backlight, glossy: no
  • Harddisk : WDC WD3200BEKT-75PVMT0, 320GB 7.200rpm
  • Soundcard : Intel Cougar Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
  • Connections : 1 Express Card 34mm, 2 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 eSata, Audio Connections: Kopfhörer, Mikrofon, Card Reader: 8-in-1 (SD,MMC,MS,MS-Pro,mini SD w/ adapter,MS-Duo,MS-Pro Duo via adapter), 1 Fingerprint Reader,
  • Networking : Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Centrino Wireless-N 1030 (bgn), 3.0 Bluetooth
  • Optical drive : TSSTcorp CDDVDW TS-L633J
  • Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 33 x 343 x 246
  • Weight : 2.3 kg Power Supply: 0.28 kg
  • Battery : 48 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6 cell battery, 11.1 volt
  • Price : 799.00 Euro
  • Operating System : Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
  • Additional features : Webcam: 2.0 Megapixel, MS Office Starter 2010, Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Services (15 monthes) Skype for Windows, Adobe Reader 9, 24 Months Warranty, notebook, battery, adapter w/ power cable, documentation, DVDs, colors: bronze, silver, red
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